2011 goes pop

By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 20, 2011

JAY-Z + KANYE WEST, "NIGGAS IN PARIS" | Every year for the past decade or so, someone has declared that Rap Is Dead. It isn't a matter of who has skills; rather, it's a commentary on whether popular hip-hop represents a sense of realness that used to mark it as more authentic than the dominant rock and pop around during its infancy. Which is a roundabout way of saying that 'Ye and Jay's Watch the Throne, dropped during the height of a worldwide economic tsunami and a frothing mood of protest and unrest, represents the one percent rather than the 99. The record is sheer affluenza, and somehow represents both the endgame and the antithesis of the last several decades of hip-hop.
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